14 facts about willpower

14 facts about willpower

1. Take the most important decisions in the morning, before you experience “ego depletion”


In an interview with New York Times Baumeister said, “Freud has suggested that I, or ego, depends on mental activity that is associated with the transfer of energy. Experiments have shown that the amount of mental energy required for self-control, the end”. And during the day, your energy supply continues to dwindle.
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2. The brain needs glucose to make the right decisions


Baumeister explains: “Even the smartest people will not be able to make the right choice, if they are tired and the level of glucose in their blood is too low. That is why a wise leader not restructurizer company in four hours of the day — it will not be an important decision to make before dinner, on an empty stomach.”


Retailers know this for decades. The researchers found that “when the buyers are exhausted after all the decisions that had to make at the supermarket, their willpower reduced, and they are easier to force to give in to any temptation; but they’re especially vulnerable to candy, soda and other products, guaranteeing a sharp increase of sugar level in the blood.”


3. A resource that allows you to make decisions, of course, but it means that several decisions in a row can seriously Deplete our forces


That is why shopping is so exhausting. Found that buyers who “has made a few decisions in stores,” worse than others coped with the math test.


4. If you are mentally exhausted, the probability of error increases


Compromise is one of the most difficult of human abilities, and therefore it denies one of the first, when willpower is exhausted.


At the end of the day when you are physically and mentally exhausted, it’s more likely that you miss the gym after work, or drinks at the bar.


5. Daily rituals will help to relieve stress and conserve energy for important decisions


Baumeister and his colleagues found that the most successful people don’t use willpower as a last line of defense to stay on the brink of disaster. They create effective habits and rituals at home and at work — and thereby reduce the amount of stress in your life. They use self-control not to get through crises but to avoid them. They immediately allocate enough time to complete the project. They took the car in for repair before it breaks.


6. Want to strengthen your willpower? Get enough sleep


Studies show that sleep deprivation harms the body not less than alcohol. Says Stanford psychologist Kelly Mcgonigal, the lack of sleep affects the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain responsible for decision-making.


When you’re sleep deprived, says Mcgonigal, “the prefrontal cortex suffers particularly badly: it loses control over the areas of the brain responsible for attraction and reaction to stress. Having lost control, the brain reacts too sharply on the everyday worries and temptations”.


7. Your unconscious plays a key role in making the right decisions


Before verdict, to make a RAID on the lair of Osama bin Laden, President Obama made a break for sleep. So psychologists recommend for dealing with important and difficult choice.


As the Harvard Business Review writes, “conscious attention is limited, and therefore need to enlist the support of the unconscious”.


Even if you have no opportunity to permanently postpone the decision, it will be useful to switch to another task. This will help to distract from the dilemma and allow the subconscious to do its part.


8. Who lead the, the way to do it


Breakthroughs in the science of networks (eng. network science), which deals, in particular, the study of social interaction, showed that much of what we tend to carry to the sphere of the individual — for example, will you gain weight and throw to smoke — really depends on the team.


As discovered by James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, and Nick Christakis of Harvard medical school, our behavior is contagious. If your best friend brings herself to obesity, the chance to follow suit increased by 57%. If a close colleague quits Smoking, the likelihood that you too will give up the harmful habit, is more by 34%.


9. Sometimes it’s better to bring your ideas someone else’s hands


The science of networks something to talk about productivity. When the researchers decided to track the progress of individual employees at the aerospace company, including information on patents and products that these employees brought to the market, he found that the circle of acquaintances of each of the engineers was extremely important.


The main engine of success (except experience) ended the relationship. People who had strong ties up and down the hierarchy and between departments, increased the company’s chances for success.


When you have strong relationships with other people, you can combine your ideas, get feedback and find support — another explanation for the fact that generous people succeed.


10. It is sometimes useful to give up and say “Yes” to “wrong choice”


Well occasionally giving in to your desires — it can revive you and give feel like a complete ascetic. The reason people celebrate carnival before lent.


11. If you gave someone a promise, make a decision becomes easier


Are there any solutions that do not necessarily make right now? Maybe you have to ask someone to do it for you?


Baumeister explains: “Instead of every morning anew to decide whether to force myself to train, intelligent people agree with friends on a regular joint trainings”.


12. If you are ready to “moments of weakness”, it will be easier to make the right decisions


In an interview with Times Baumeister says: “the Ability to make the right decisions — not a character trait that stays with a person. This changeable condition.”


His studies show that the best self-control is the case of those who life organized so as not to waste willpower. They don’t expect endless meetings. They avoid temptations like a buffet, and develop habits that help us not to waste my energy on minor decisions. Not spending willpower during the day, keep it for emergencies and important decisions. Baumeister shares a simple secret:


“The best decisions are the ones who know when not to trust yourself.”


13. Studies show that exercising your willpower, you increase your chances of success


In the famous marshmallow experiment done at Stanford in 1972, children were asked to sit at the table looking at the marshmallow in front of them, and not eat it for 15 painful minutes. The one who succeeded, was to receive a reward: a second helping of marshmallow.


As you know, children who were able to wait 15 minutes in the future had higher academic scores and less likely to suffer from addictions than their impulsive friends. But maybe it’s not just the ability to wait…


14. Sometimes what seems like weak will power, may in fact be high ability to make decisions


In 2012, the Celeste Kidd, a researcher from the University of Rochester, published a study that challenged the marshmallow test. Young Kidd some time worked in shelters for the homeless; she remembers that thought a lot like growing up in such an unstable situation may affect decision-making.


These children, she thought, exactly will eat the marshmallow immediately. But not because they lack willpower. More the fact that they grew up in an environment where he could not trust the promises of adults. Kidd says:


“Our findings certainly run counter to the popular idea that the tasks similar experiment with marshmallows to help determine the ability for self-control. To delay gratification is the rational choice only if the child is sure to get a second serving”.


In the study of Kidd children forced to assume adult reliable or unreliable. In the first part of the study, the experimenter gave a piece of paper and a pencil, offering the child to use these art supplies, or wait until he will bring something better. Then for one test group, the experimenter really brought back markers and crayons; with the other he returned and apologized, saying that he had not found anything better.


This was followed by “marshmallow test”. 9 of the 14 children in the reliable group were able to wait 15 minutes to get the second marshmallow — and only 1 out of 14 in the second group.


Conclusion: what looks like willpower, can be trust in the world.


14 facts about willpower


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